Old news to help you in the new year

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

So I know this is a bit old as far as “news” goes, but doesn’t it just make you feel really good about all those holiday treats you devoured from November through the end of December?  Take a look.  Chocolate for Breakfast is actually not too bad for you.  Below is  the skinny and a link to the original article.

“Morning is the best time to consume sweets because that’s when the body’s metabolism is most active ­ and we have the rest of the day to work off the calories, a new study shows.”

Also thank you for joining me for sporadic but useful posts in 2013.  2014 looks to be quite promising.  After about 8+ years I will finally be completing my Doctorate this spring and I hope to devote more time to this blog and also share new projects that I’ll be working on, as well as exactly what I spent the last few years of my life studying.  I hope this finds you well in our first full week to the start of 2014!



Study of the Day_ Eating Chocolate for Breakfast Is Good for Your Diet – Health – The Atlantic

Download the full Article from the Telegraph here:  Chocolate cake breakfast could help you lose weight – Telegraph


Detox day 3 and feeling great

January 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

Detox BrothThis forms the base of a really good broth.  Celery and Carrots and Kale oh my!

So I am three days into the Prude Papers 2013 Detox which I promise I will give all the details about in the near future.  I decided that before I share the plan with others, I should have a taste of my own medicine so to speak.  So I am trying it out, learning what things my body likes and what I need to tweak.  To give you a sneak peek though I thought I would share some of my experiences with you.

This is a 7 Day Restore and Renew Detox. Last year I did a 21 Day Candida Cleanse that was really good, but also really hard to stick with for 21 days because well..21 days is a long time, and I have never done well on simply restrictive diets, but more so on gradual lifestyle changes.  So while I found the cleanse and the recipes and the overall experience quite rewarding (I lost 10lbs and kept it off for at least six-nine months, and I felt re-energized) I decided that I had to do something a little more practical in terms of time commitment and I was not looking to necessarily fight candida as I was last year, but more so to restore good eating practices, restore good bacteria and renew my commitment to my overall health and yes…wellness too.  So with these goals in mind I tweaked a would be candida cleanse and focused on packing myself with as many naturally beneficial substances as possible by allowing Bentonite clay, apple fiber and antioxidant rich foods to flush out all the toxic waste inside of me.   I also realized after last year’s detox that detoxifying was not only about what you ate or didn’t eat, but also slowing down, streamlining and getting back to basics if you will.  So in this restore and renew detox getting enough rest, de-cluttering your heart and mind, and taking it a little more easy are just as important as what you will and won’t consume.  This is definitely not one of those “do it on the go” grab a shake and eat a balanced meal plans.  We can all do that, and some of us actually have, but when you force yourself just for seven days out of the whole year to slow down, to put some errands off till next week, to let your spouse or coworker or friend take over some of the things that were on your plate or  to even use a sick day (don’t say I told you) so that you can sip burdock root and milk thistle tea for ten straight minutes while doing absolutely nothing else, then you are pairing the mental with the physical.

Now I know not everyone has the luxury to work from home as I do, or to set their own deadlines as I do (now at least), but that is why this detox can be modified to do when you please and how you please just as long as you take your body through the three different steps that I’ll outline later.  Anyway enough about all that here’s how I’m doing.  Days one and two were a little difficult, I had chills, itching, dizziness, and a lot of irritability.  Day two was better, not as much dizziness, not that many chills but an occasional hunger pain that was soon relieved by a scheduled detox drink.  Both days I had better sleep than usual, which I wholly attribute to the nightly liver flush.  It wasn’t that I actually got more sleep than usual, but the sleep I did get was better, and the dreams were quite interesting.

So now Day three.  I have to say I thought I would be spent by now, but I actually woke up this morning to a blanket of white snow, which meant I would have to reschedule my Wed library trip for later in the week and work from home.  I rearranged my schedule and then to my surprise I worked out.  I know you may be thinking “Seriously, even after 2 days on a liquid diet.  Is that even safe?” Trust me I wondered if I should be lifting weights too, but I didn’t do a boot camp workout just a good light cardio workout with some Pilates, and here’s the big thing…I loved it.  They say sweating is good during a detox because it is another way to aid the body in excreting toxins.  Afterwards I was ready for my broth, but not drained or famished.  In fact my overall energy levels have been higher throughout the day while on the detox than they have been in months (12 of them to be exact).  While I have more to share on this, I will leave you now as I’m going to capitalize on all this energy and get some dissertating (dissertation writing) done!

Till next time,


Not So Drunken Noodle

February 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

A couple of years ago I was on a roll.  I was in one of those cooking moments when everything you touched turned to edible gold, and your family marvels at how you once again pulled off a delectable wonder.  And while I knew that phase would not and could not last for practical reasons like, we were leaving Northern California and the wonderful farmers markets I frequented to buy my ingredients and receive inspiration.  As well as impractical reasons like it’s Friday and I’m not cooking.  So in preparation for the end, I began to photograph in the best light the meals, desserts and snacks I prepared.  My husband thought I wanted to start my own Smitten Kitchen, but I figured there can only be one Deb, plus I was more so photographing with my novice camera as a way of remembering what I made, in case I went through that inevitable dry spell.  And sure enough it came and went, and then came again.

Only this time I had made the mistake of not backing up my hard drive for oh-say a year and among the precious treasures that I lost like first birthday parties and one of a kind pics with great-grandpa, I lost all those fabulous food images.  So bear with me as I may post an occasional recipe in homage to those that didn’t make it.

Not So Drunken Noodle

This Not-So Drunken Noodle recipe is my go-to middle of the afternoon, need a hot lunch kind of meal.  It can also serve as a great dinner when paired with a spinach salad.  You may notice that it is quite different from the real Thai Drunken Noodle recipes available as they are made with Thai basil and rice noodles.  I make this version using whatever I have on hand that can closely resemble the real thing like Italian basil and fettuccine.  Nonetheless, we enjoy it and I hope you will too.

2 tbs tamari

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs water

1-2 tsp mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) 

1 tbs brown sugar

1/4 cup sunflower oil

10-15 large shrimp peeled and deveined (thawed)

2 bunches of baby bok choy – chopped in big pieces (organic if possible)

1 cup mixed fresh bell peppers sliced (orange, red, green, yellow)

1/2 medium yellow onion sliced

1 shallot sliced 

1-2 tsp fresh ginger minced

2 cloves of garlic minced

3-4 cups pre-cooked whole wheat fettuccine noodles (any 1/4″ wide noodles will do even the traditional rice noodles)

1/2  cup or more of fresh Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves whole or chopped

1 Thai chili pepper chopped with seeds removed  (optional)


Prepare noodles ahead of time according to the package directions, this can even be done the night before.  I like the texture of day-old noodles.  Noodles should be cooked, but not too soft as they will cook again in the pan.

Mix together the tamari, fish sauce, water, mirin and brown sugar in a bowl.  Add the thawed shrimp to the sauce and toss just until each piece has been coated in sauce.

Heat a wok or in my case a large cast iron skillet over med heat, adding 1tbs of the sunflower oil.  Add the shrimp and cook stirring, for 5 minutes.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Scrape the skillet clean.  Add the remaining oil and cook the onions, shallots and peppers, stirring until softened about 5 min.  Then add the bok choy and cook together for another 3 min.  Adjust heat as needed.

Add the shrimp along with the minced garlic and ginger, stirring frequently.  Add the cooked noodles and stir for another minute.  While stirring add the sauce and cook just until everything is covered in the sauce.

Add the fresh basil leaves and optional chili pepper and serve.

Oil of Oregano…where have you been all my life?

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Being a Prude, I am not unaccustomed to coming late to the game party.  In fact, I rather revel in it.   Remember back when myspace was all the rage…well I was still developing my cyber-alter ego.  Then when facebook swept myspace, instead of jump on the bandwagon I wrestled with the late but still innovative idea of tweeting.  Finally I gave up all hopes of expanding my direct social network and instead created a blog in 2011, only about a decade or so after everyone else started.  However, I do think there is something to be said for coming late to the party.  For starters I can take my time, evaluate the situation, assess the risks, weigh the outcomes and then when everyone else has exhausted, bored or disgusted themselves, I can very casually say, “you know I never got into that one.”

There are two major exceptions to this trend, when it comes to tech tools that will make my everyday life easier and when it comes to supplements and foods that will make my body stronger.  For this reason I’m almost ashamed to admit that I am just now discovering the “miracle of the mediterranean,” Oil of Oregano.

Oil of Oregano is a natural substance that is extracted from Wild Oregano Plants.  Not to be confused with that thing you shake into your pastas and stews called Origanum Marjoram, Oregano Oil is a highly potent purifier.  Its main and active ingredients are carvacrol and thymol.  And from what I gather it can be taken internally and externally to help rectify a multitude of ailments.  I “discovered,” Oil of Oregano while preparing for my 21 day detox (details coming soon).

Due to its highly effective anti-fungal properties, Oil of Oregano basically dehydrates or kills germs and fungi while leaving good bacteria in the body.  Some general benefits of this supplement, courtesy of homeremediesweb.com are:

  • Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving respiratory health.
This and other sites also contend that it will help with skin infections, digestive issues, sinus infections and colds and sore throats.
So like all super supplement folks I hurriedly looked for a brand that was in my price range and had at least 70% carvacrol.  When my package arrived I placed the .5oz bottle in my supplement cabinet and thought “perhaps I’ll use it in a few weeks,”  because I am still taking maintenance supplements from my detox and didn’t want to have too many things going on as it would make it more confusing to discern where my health benefits and changes were actually coming from.  Anyway I put it aside and later that day took my little guy out for a couple of errands.  One of them was a trip to this really fun yarn shop to get a belated birthday present.  While there, little one decided to not only pull all the carefully placed balls of yarn off the shelves, but also to stick something that I can quite honestly only describe as a round piece of wood into his mouth.  By the time I saw him it was already too late.  Contact was made, microscopic germs met a two-year old immune system and later that night he began to cough.  And even later that night he did not sleep.  And in the wee hours of the following morning he was stuffed up.
Like all good mothers, I soothed him, gave him a warm bath to break up the congestion and then I made him an anti-oxidant rich smoothie and put one drop of this miracle cold cure into it.  I then prepared another smoothie for myself and put about three drops into it.  From all the reviews I read, it seems that taking this oil at the onset or feeling of a cold is extremely effective in boosting your immune system and combatting the cold before it drags you down.
So what is my review of this miracle oil…this mediterranean treasure.  It is this.  For children under the age of three who will inevitably eat, lick, suck, or snort many things that would make you cringe, its fifty-fifty.  While it doesn’t hurt them to take it even after a cold starts, they also need to build up their immunity, and this stuff can be expensive.   Though you may find it useful to shorten the length and extent of their cold.   Now for moms, dads, grand parents and other care givers who will be tasked with soothing, cooing and kissing the immune compromised little ones, take the stuff – it works.  After all, baby can be sick, but mama’s still got work to do.  Thus far, I have not caught his cold and I will continue taking the oil of oregano for the next four days (3 drop doses), until I am sure there is no way I will catch yet another cold.
Many people have also had success in treating many of the issues listed above.  If you have tried this supplement before please share your thoughts or discoveries.  Also please bear in mind this Prude is working on her PhD, not her MD, so please do your research and ask a professional before taking anything I recommend.

Image courtesy of the really cool yarn store, otherwise known as Stich House




21 Day Detox

December 22, 2011 § 4 Comments

So, while I consider myself a bit health conscious – this was by far the most radical decision I have made about my body in a long time.  I began a 21 Day Detox and Wellness Cleanse about six days ago.  The cleanse is broken up into three seven-day stages with the first one being a complete detoxification process to eliminate everything from candida yeast to chemicals and other toxins that have been absorbed and stored in my body for who knows how long.  To be clear, there are many ways to detox, but for some reason something (some strange uncommon thing) in my heart leapt at the idea of not eating a single piece of solid food for seven days.  So I chose to have the first seven days of my detox focus on clearing out anything that was in my body via detox drinks, vegetable broth, and a nightly liver flush.  The second phase of my detox will be cleansing the body of old stuff and re-introducing old, but never forgotten friends like chewable food.  But this won’t just be any food, it will be things that aid in the elimination  of candida and that are natural detoxificants.  In essence, I’ll be eating a lot of candida-blocking good for you veggies prepared with a very light hand, whole grains, probiotics like Kefir and plain yogurt and organic meats and seafood like salmon and sardines.  I’m also taking some daily supplements to aid in the detox process and elimination of toxic material from my body, and have built-in step three as almost like a re-programming or re-conditioning week to help me adjust my newly cleansed self to a better more satisfying way of looking at food and eating.

Ironically I have had to go into a Panera Bread twice since being on the  liquid diet (don’t ask why), and had I been doing a regular fast, that feat would have been terrible.  I would have been smacking down a bagel, cinnamon roll and smoothie within seconds of entering.  Yet, what I have discovered thus far on my 21 day plan is that in the absence of food, I can think about food a lot more, in a non-obsssesive “what am I going to eat” kind of way.  In doing so I find that eating and thinking need to be inextricably connected, otherwise we lose a sense of what is necessary with what is not.  What nutrients does my body absolutely need today and what things are just eye-candy, literally?  I’ve also began reconsidering the associative properties between food and mood, and food and mechanics.

For instance with mood, we often say, “what do I feel like eating?” or “what am I in the mood for?” And I wonder how those questions might change if we instead asked our bodies what are you lacking?  What things can you not tolerate?  What things do you need but in small doses?  In this sense the focus is less on us and more on our health.  Also with the mechanics of food I realized how the very simple gesture of popping something into my mouth is about as automatic as blinking.  So there would be times when I would be purposefully fasting and preparing lunch for my son, then automatically I would pop a piece of this or that into my mouth “without thinking” and then feel terrible the rest of the day. The gesture would be so quick and so automatic.

I’m no Dr. Oz, but I think that if I can gain hold of that mechanical process along with thinking about what my body needs, and not what I want, then I can finally have a relationship with food where, in the words of a very wise woman “I’m eating to live, and not living to eat.”  I think food is a wonderful gift from God, and that we are doubly blessed by being the only creatures that have the ability to manipulate our food by processes of cooking, seasoning, etc. And it goes without saying that chewing is a major part of the digestion process, so I am very much looking forward to doing it again in the near future.  I’m just aiming to do a little more of it on say celery and almond butter and a little less of it on baked cheese crunchies.

I will be sharing more on this detox as I go along, as eating or in my case not eating is only one aspect.  I haven’t even touched upon the issues of how much toxin is actually lurking in our bodies and how the notions of detox and cleansing can be applied to a whole way of life or as Angela over at fixingitfancy calls it, a LIFE CLEANSE.  But alas, I’ve already said too much and probably offended some with my overuse of conjunctions at the beginning of my sentences.  So more to come next time…



I’m Baaack…

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Scary I know, but the whole "I'm Back" thing really only works if you make the movie connection.

I know. I know.  You needn’t say anymore.  Yes I have been an absentee blog host.  Yes I was the first to leave my party.  Yes all the analogies apply.  But, in my defense, as in many of yours, “I’ve been busy!”

Ok, so you may have heard that one before.  But not busy just doing anything.  Tomorrow I will be volunteering at the Naturally Me – Natural Hair and Skin Extravaganza!!!!!  And next month I will be amping up my fieldwork schedule so I have planned like the mad hatter.  And uh-did I mention the adorable two feet tall – long-term house guest that is now able to climb into big people chairs, slam my laptop closed and declare a mandatory playtime.  Well yes, there’s been that too.  All things considered I’m back sooner than I expected.

I did manage to squeeze in a film or two and will share a complete list of “Films I Almost Never Saw,” at another time.  This week I watched a film entitled FOODMATTERS, which I believe came out in 2008.  While the film expanded upon and echoed topics and viewpoints that I was already familiar with like:  “You Are What You Eat,” and “most chronic illnesses can be linked to what we put into our bodies,” as well as extolling the benefits of “Natural, Raw, Organic Whole Foods and Nutritional Supplements,”  I found that the useful part to me was in its affirming qualities.  For example I have struggled with the idea of spending more for “Organic” produce.  After all, fifteen-twenty years ago you had to go out of your way to find something labeled “Organic” in the regular grocery store.  Now you have an organic option in nearly every food category.  Even clothing, gardening tools/supplies and shoes have organic alternatives.  So  for me the question that remains is what am I really paying for  – the name or the actual product.

In watching this film I’ve made some steps towards reconciling this issue, by really digesting the fact that much of the produce we buy at the grocery store…even dare I say it at the “healthy food stores” is days old and losing nutrients as we type.   In addition, produce labels fail to mention whether the crops are treated with pesticides and if so which ones.  Because of this we forfeit a certain amount of control over our food’s actual nutrient content and health benefits.  For this reason I can appreciate the CSA farm shares that we received throughout the spring, which were picked, packed and delivered to our pick up site in record time.  As well as the myriad of processes that go into labeling something as “organic.” or “biodynamic.”

However, the shame of it still comes down to pure economics.  Why do we have to pay more, to live better? Why is having chemicals doused on produce so much cheaper per lb.  I’ve noticed a lot of money being spent telling people to eat healthier, especially in poor communities.  For communities that have been historically and systematically denied access to fresh groceries the message to eat fresh fruit and vegetables is only half promising.  It would seem to me that since not all carrots are created equal, the official message must first be directed towards the means of production.  This way all consumers, regardless of income can buy a healthy-chemical free, nutrient rich peach.  But perhaps I’ve gone too far, shouldn’t we just be glad they opened up a SubWay?



Boston Goes Natural

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

File this under the Naturally You Series because it’s a biggie!  

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